Depending on where in the U.S. you live, you may experience extreme weather conditions more frequently than motorists in other states. For instance, states with the most natural disasters (and therefore, periods of difficult driving) are Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Wyoming, Nevada, Missouri and Alabama. Since so many hazardous driving conditions can occur over time, the expert team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org has put together a comprehensive list of difficult weather conditions that drivers should be prepared for at any time.
#1 Rain – According to the group at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, rainfall can decrease driving visibility and can increase the risk of driving fatalities. Additionally, rain often mixes with vehicle fluids such as gas and oil, leading to slick roadways and dangerous driving conditions. When rain freezes and turns into freezing rain, driving conditions are often much worse. While it is recommended that inexperienced drivers avoid operating a vehicle in hazardous weather conditions until they gain more experience, driving in various weather conditions can help young drivers to learn important driver safety techniques.
#2 Snow – Even though snowfall typically slows traffic on the roads, snow can still be deadly for drivers if defensive driving techniques are not applied. Not only does snowfall decrease visibility while driving, but it also leads to slippery roads and skidding vehicles.
#3 Ice – According to the expert team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, highways and streets covered with ice are just as hazardous for drivers as snowy or rainy weather conditions. Additionally, ice may make it difficult to see through the windshield and to see traffic or pedestrians up ahead.
#4 Winds – During periods of fierce winds, the group at OnlineDriversLicenses.org recommends slowing down to gain more control of the vehicle. High winds may make it more difficult to steer, stay on the road or take control of the vehicle, but slowing down can help.
#5 Floods – Whether because of rain, standing water or burst river banks, flooding can happen. Not only is it hard on vehicles to drive through flooded areas, but flooding also decreases visibility, reduces traction and leads to aquaplaning. Moreover, driving through flooded areas can also result in drowning or health conditions, such as hypothermia.
#6 Fog – According to the expert group at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, fog is the most dangerous driving condition – even compared to icy roads, snowy streets, and flooding. Since intense fog makes it difficult to see the road ahead of you, it can be troublesome to spot other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. Fog can also make it difficult to see the sides of the roads or potential threats like water, bridges or guardrails. However, motorists can avoid fog-related traffic accidents by driving slowly, applying low-beam headlights, turning on the vehicle’s defroster, and keeping the windshield as clear as possible.
#7 Dust – Certain weather conditions, like intense winds or tornadoes, may cause dust storms to develop. Dust storms result in flying debris, blinding dust, massive vehicle pileups and chain collisions. Even though dust storms are often short-lived, they can be dangerous for drivers as well as pedestrians. To stay safe during a dust storm, pull your vehicle as far off the road as possible, apply the vehicle’s emergency brake and turn off your vehicle’s lights. Remain stopped until the dust storm has passed and traffic has cleared.
#8 Sun – Nearly everyone loves the sun, but sun glare can make it difficult to navigate the roads when operating a vehicle. However, the driving hazards of sun glare can be reduced by slowing down, wearing dark sunglasses, or positioning the vehicle’s sun visor to block the reflected light.
#9 Heat – Not only can hot weather be hard on your vehicle, but also your pets and you. To avoid heat-related injuries, never leave a pet or child in a parked car during warm weather. In addition, hot weather conditions are hard on engines, sometimes causing vehicles to overheat. If hot weather causes your temperature gauge to move to the gauge’s red zone, turn off the vehicle’s air conditioner and turn on the heat instead. Turning on the heat will help to pull heat away from the engine. Once the vehicle is safe to drive, contact a road service organization or drive the vehicle to a service station for assistance. However, if the temperature gauge moves well into the red zone, immediately pull over, turn off the vehicle, and wait for at least 20 minutes before driving the vehicle again.